A man has admitted defrauding more than a dozen motorhome owners of more than £400,000, having previously denied the charges.
Standing in the dock of Newry Crown Court in Northern Ireland, Lancelot Walker pleaded guilty to each of the 16 dishonesty offences, which he committed between August 2005 and August 2008, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The estimated value of campervans involved ranged from £6,000 to £60,000.
Walker, a former director of Motorhomes Ireland Ltd, from the Ballynahinch Road in Carryduff, admitted 14 counts of fraud by false representation, in addition to single charges of obtaining property by deception and concealing criminal property.
While the facts of the case have not been opened, it is apparent from the charge sheets that Walker told 15 victims that he would sell their motorhomes and deliver the proceeds of the sale to them, or alternatively use their profits towards payment for another motorhome.
While the amounts in the counts vary, the final count discloses that Walker concealed criminal property “comprising motorhomes which belonged to others… and the proceeds of sales of motorhomes belonging to others, amounting to a valuation of £418,495 or thereabouts”.
The charges include a number that state that, when performing the role of managing director of Motorhomes Ireland Ltd, Walker caused employees in the company to dishonestly make false representations to motorhome owners.
Following Walker’s admissions, prosecution counsel Geraldine McCullough asked for confiscation proceedings to be adjourned, to coincide with the pleas and sentence.
Judge Gordon Kerr KC ordered a pre-sentence probation report and, putting the case back to October 27, freed Walker on bail.
However, he warned the fraudster that his release “is no indication of what I may do when you come to be sentenced”.